Coach estimates new running surface could cost as much as $245,000
Add a new running track to the list of upgrades on the wish list for the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District.
The current track, which was built in 1999 and resurfaced in 2009, is showing signs of wear that can only be fixed with a new surface, Cedar Grove-Belgium High School track coach Les Paul said.
The track, which surrounds the football field, holds too much moisture and can’t drain properly, Paul said. The original and resurfaced lane lines are faded and showing through, he added.
There is also a 4-foot dip across the lanes at the 50 meter mark of the home straightaway, he said.
“We probably resurfaced the track about 3 years too late and it’s starting to show,” Paul said. “It’s really an accident waiting to happen.”
Although the track is rubber, it feels like asphalt, Paul said. The track was also built with the slope away from the inner lanes of the track, which was a huge oversight, he said.
Paul said he has consulted with officials at the Kohler School District, who will be installing a new track this year.
He suggested building a new track with 9 lanes instead of 10, which would provide a buffer along the fence.
Paul is staying realistic, however.
“You need to replace the football field first before you replace the track,” he said. “I understand that. I would do the same thing.”
Paul estimated a new track would cost $245,000 and said resurfacing again is not an option.
“Resurfacing or re-lining the track would last less than 3 years and we would be right back here,” he said.
It’s unclear when a new track or football field would be considered, because the district is already contemplating a $900,000 addition to the fitness center, complete with a new locker room and added cardio equipment.
Although sponsors could pick up some of the price tag, the district would have to tap into its reserve fund to finish all the projects it wants.
Athletic Director Brad Mayer acknowledged that building a new track is probably “2 to 3 years from being a reality.”
“The temptation here is to hold off until the new football field idea comes more into focus, which hopefully won’t be too long,” School Board President Chad Hoopman said.
Supt. Steve Shaw said not being able to hold meets at the school is “dismaying for the kids.”
Among other features Paul would like to see if a new track is built:
• Electrical and communication outlets on both ends of the track to accommodate timing systems and other powered equipment requirements.
• Re-sloping of the track and a high jump apron on both ends for wind and invitational purposes.
• Proper drainage systems including adding tiles, not just soil absorption.
• Regrading the football field to eliminate the excessive crown.
Paul said the asphalt under the track could be ground up and used again as a new base for creating the slope and final elevations.
He noted the complex isn’t just used by sports teams, saying the high school, middle school and physical education classes use the track.
“The track and football field complex is and should be considered a district asset, similar to the brick and mortar and roofs on the buildings,” he said. “There is no simple low-cost solution. The current status of the track renders it impossible to host larger meets and is becoming a liability for what its intended use is.”